Child care can take up a large portion of your family budget, especially if you are also juggling education expenses or are working less so you can attend classes. As part of your mobile military life, it's possible that you won't have any immediate family living near where your family is stationed to assist with
What is a
child care swap?
These arrangements are especially important in the military family when the service member may be away from home for extended periods, and the spouse must act as the single parent in the family. Finding time to do even the simplest activities can be a challenge and taking on a part-time job or going to school may be easier with a
- Work (mostly part-time)
- Household chores
- Date night
- Quiet time
Choosing swap families
Here are a few things that you should consider when setting up a
Choose families with similar values. When setting up a
- Internet, video game and television restrictions
- Diets, food
- Exercise and playtime
- Similar availability hours for a child care swap
- Anything else that you feel is important to you as a parent
Choose families close to where you are. You'll also want to choose families that are close to where you live. Swaps are meant to make your life easier, not add additional stress by driving 30 minutes in the opposite direction of your school for an hour of sitting. Choosing families that live close by can make it easier.
Use social media. All installations have spouse networks and finding the right one allows you to connect with other spouses to set up
Ask for referrals. You can visit MilitaryINSTALLATIONS for local information on finding a
Once you have set up a
If you need additional information related to child care, you can visit Child Care Aware Directory on MySECO or speak with a career coach at 800-342-9647.